Tag Archives: PA

Crime & Punishment

IMG_4525Crime & Punishment
Facebook   Twitter @CandPBrewingCo

If brewing excellent beer is a crime then Crime & Punishment is guilty. What a wonderful surprise C&P was. I had heard good things about the brewpub but still didn’t know what to expect. Located in Brewerytown – Yippy beer is finally being brewed again in Brewerytown – Crime & Punishment is nestled among a various row of storefront businesses and can easily be passed by. Seek it out! It’s much smaller than I imagined and laid back which made me very happy. For some reason I thought it might be more of a hoity-toity place but was pleased it’s really has the atmosphere conducive of kicking back with some friends or making new ones like this Gal did on my recent visit. Offering a very down to earth welcoming vibe and a staff that’s outgoing, knowledgeable and a pleasure to talk to.

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Bad Haircut & Disturbing the Beets

The tap list consists of 7 diverse beers available in full or half pours. Flight aren’t available but if you go for half pours and have a friend with you willing to share a taste or two of their beer you have the list covered. The food menu has something for everyone as well and leans towards the ethic character of the neighborhood with homemade dumplings and locally produced meats. It’s surprising what quality homemade food they are serving considering the tiny size of the kitchen which is located behind the bar. It’s local artisanal at it’s best.

How good is the beer – REAL GOOD. So much so that the God-father of the Philly Beer Scene sat down on the stool next to this Gal and enjoyed a couple of C&P’s finest selections.  I for one was impressed with diverse selections from a Beet Beer (yes, beets) to an AMAZING English Brown Ale.

My friend and I decided to approach the list in a way so that we could try all the beers and IIMG_4529 could still be responsible to drive back to NJ. Key was tastings, half pours and food. We started with one of the 3 food specials of the day a meat, cheese & pickle plate which complemented the Disturbing the Beets American Wild Ale and Bad Haircut English Brown Ale perfectly.

IMG_4532For the next food pairing we ordered the Farm at Doe Run Cheese Plate with the 100 IBU’s to Life IPA and the Nightingale the Robber English Barleywine. Both beers matched nicely with various cheeses on the board. However, the match up of the Nightingale and the creamy cheese and honey was outstanding.

The final pairing for this Gal was the Behemoth Oatmeal Stout – you know I had to go for the stout – with the homemade Mushroom Pelmeni. The richness of the stout and the earthiness of  mushrooms were made for each other. My friend went for the homemade Pork & Beef Pelmeni and the Bad Haircut English Brow Ale which made for attractive match.

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Mushroom Pelmeni

No worries I also had taste of the Indecent Exposure Pale Ale and the Baikal Insurrection.

The beers shine on their own or go great with the various C&P food selections. One can tell a lot of thought goes into both menus at Crime & Punishment so that the best of the old and new world combine to create a community of amazing flavors.

C&P is a 7 barrel/8 tank system and shortly will be distributing to 3 Philly Bars including one of Brendan Hartranft establishments. C&P with one of Brendan’s bars is a match made by the beer gods.

For only being opened 8 months or so Crime & Punishment has an amazing establishment with a strong following that’s growing daily. The only crime would be for you to miss out on enjoying the fine beers and delightful food they have to offer.

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100 IBU’s

Indecent Exposure – Signal Hop Pale Ale 4%
Hoppy crispness nicely accented by various malts – makes for easy drinking

Disturbing the Beets – American Wild Ale 5.7%
The beets are present but the sourness meshes to keep the beets from overwhelming. Bonus you feel healthy while drinking it!

Bad Haircut – English Brown Ale 5.8% (so good companion had it twice)
Yes! So happy to see a Brown Ale on tap. Love this style and C&P brews a fantastic rendition. Great coffee nose and combo of bitter and malts leaves you feeling more than satisfied.

100 IBU’s To Life – IPA 7%
Yup, this Gal went for the IPA and thoroughly enjoyed. I find IPA to be one of the best beer styles for pairing with various foods. The West Coast hops let themselves be known and enjoyed while the malt helps tone them down so you can taste all the other wonderful complexities of the beer.

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Behemoth

Behemoth – Oatmeal Stout 6.5%
Soft velvety mouthfeel with cocoa, fig and the roasty bitterness this Gal loves.

Nightingale the Robber – English Barleywine 11.2%
I heard someone say it’s not Barleywine season?! Get over it you can drink them anytime of the year and am glad to see one still on the menu. Besides it’s still March perfect time for a barleywine and the Nightingale is one to savor and enjoy. Has that great underlying whiskey tone with subtle hints of butterscotch and earthy goodness.

Baikal Insurrection Belgian Strong Dark Ale 10.2%
Loved this and wish I could have had more than a taste but at 10.2% it wasn’t meant to be, at least not on this visit. The yeasty maltiness with hints of dark fruits and toffee undertones combined to make a very enjoyable Strong Dark Ale.

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Neshaminy Creek Brewing

IMG_2373Neshaminy Creek Brewing
909 Ray Avenue, Croydon, PA 19021
215.458.7081   Twitter – @NCBCBeer

Neshaminy Creek Brewing was the 2nd stop on the snowy day brewery tour. This gal was pretty excited to finally visit this brewery since from day one they have been hitting it out of the ball park with styles and quality of beer they’ve been brewing.

IMG_2374The Brewery is located in an industrial park and once you enter their is a small gift shop to the left (former tasting room) and large tasting area with brewery to the right that includes foosball, pool, air hockey and multiple arcade games (if only they had centipedes…sigh) for all to enjoy. On this particular day several families were there and the kids were happily entertained with the game tables while the parents got to sit back and relax with a beer.  There’s also a large projector that plays off the wall, picnic tables and a long bar to enjoy your beer at. (a.ka. this is a cool place to hang out)

There were plenty of open picnic tables spots on this fine wintery day but my companions and I decided to take up residence at the bar. The bartender was very friendly, helpful and knowledgable about the beer – a win win in this Gal’s book. As I was trying to make my beer selection I noticed just how extremely reasonably priced the beers are ranging from $4 to $6 and they offer a large variety of styles as well.

Of course, this Gal decided to go for a taster round. I knew I wanted the Tripel and both stouts but wasn’t sure about the 4th selection so I asked the bartender to choose for me.

L to R: JAWN, Triple, Coconut Mud Stout, Mud Stout
L to R: JAWN, Triple, Coconut Mud Stout, Mud Stout

My flight…

J.A.W.N. Juicy Ale With Nugget – American Pale Ale 5.2%
Not a style I would typically choose for myself but so glad the bartender chose this as my 4th. This a very fresh beer oozing with hop aromas and flavors accented by tropical fruit, citrus and malts.  Truly a thirst quencher. I have to say the Pale Ales and IPA’s are growing on me.

Tribute Tripel – Belgian Tripel 9.3% – A tasteful blend of citrus, coriander and subtle malt undertones that is wonderfully smooth without the punch of drinking a high alcohol beer.

Coconut Mudbank Milk Stout 7.2% – This is a wonderful concoction of chocolate, coffee and coconut that resembles a chocolate coconut Easter egg without the surgery sweetness overload.

Mudbank Milk Stout 6.5% – YUM! Same wonderful chocolate, coffee & malty goodness of the Coconut Mudbank minus the coconut. Yes, this Gal loved it.

Tasted the Churchville Lager 4.9% This is a GABF Gold Medal winner and I understand why. It’s a flavorful lager that instantly transports one to the heart of Germany.

Also had a small taste of that days Hand Pump Offering – County Line IPA 6.6% – Wow, has that fresh crisp grapefruit punch that I’m really starting to appreciate and enjoy. Plus, I love trying what’s offered on a hand pump.

Concrete Pillow
Concrete Pillow

After the taster round I decided to indulge with a glass of their Concrete Pillow Barleywine 12.7% – Truly a sipping beer that I would have preferred to be served more on the room temperature side of things – a bit too chilled for me. Temperature aside this is a wonderful beer that has the bourbon undertones that I just love with hints of herbal earthiness, dark fruits and hints of hops.

I find this brewery to be an exciting one to watch. They were established in 2010 and have come so far so quickly. I have enjoyed every offering I’ve tried by Neshaminy Creek Brewing whether at the brewery or off site at a bar. This Gal looks forward to seeing what’s next for this crew!

 

Broken Goblet Brewery

IMG_2369Broken Goblet
1500 Grundy Lane, Bristol, PA 19007
Keystone Industrial Park
Twitter @BrokenGobletPA

Snowy day be damed it wasn’t keeping this Gal and her crew from enjoying the local beer scene. Stop one on our mini brewery tour was Broken Goblet. The snow didn’t seem to stop anyone else either the place filled up quickly!

This brewery is small but mighty offering up 7 interesting beers on tap. My companions and I split a full tasting round that was served on a nifty goblet tray. The taster had something for everyone and even the none beer drinker found two beers to her enjoyment!

Broken Goblet has warm welcoming feeling to it that resembles hanging out in your friend’s cool basement bar turned up a notch with fairly lights, small stage for bands/movie night, a few high top tables, a small but inviting bar and towards the back of the building the brewery. They offer a small food menu as well, when a food truck isn’t out front of the establishment. The staff is friendly, knowledge and accommodating and yeah the geek in me LOVED the bartender’s Star Wars shoes! Star Wars themes shoes – seriously it doesn’t get any better!

IMG_2371Taster Round consisted of:
Bubba’s Tea Bag 5.9% – This is an interesting beer with some earthy hints to it but too sweet for this Gal’s taste. However, my sis enjoyed it and, well, I really never see her enjoy a beer. Score one for B.G.

Cream Ale – extremely light body with a mix of citrus and yeast that finished clean. Again, Sis, finished it off. Score two for B.G.

Angry Troll Amber 7.1%
I’ve always been one to enjoy a good amber and this was no exception – well done with a good balance of roasted malts and subtle hops.

The Fall of Ryesengard Black Rye 6.6%
Right off the bat – love the name. Me and rye beers have a tricky relationship. I appreciate them but rarely want to drink them. However, this rye was tasty. You certainly taste the rye but it doesn’t overpower the roasted malts, hints of pine or the hops.

Old Toby Belgium Pale Ale with Basil 5.5% – I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one but it works. The basil helps to balance and compliment the hops without being overpowering.

Russian Imperial Stout – Of course this was my favorite Broken Goblet selection but not only did I enjoy it but my none stout buddy enjoyed it as well. It has everything I love about a stout – roasted malts, cocoa, caramel and dark fruit but with a bit lighter mouth feel to it.

Deep Impact IPA 9.6%
I enjoyed this Imperial IPA but that’s because there wasn’t the usual abudance of hops one associates with an IPA. I’d be curious for a true Hop Head’s opinion of this beer.

IMG_2370Next up – stop two on the mini local brewery tour – Neshaminy Creek Brewing.

Side note: As a strong believer in giving back/lending a helping hand to our fellow humans and fur friends  I strongly appreciate when breweries do the same. I found these guys to do just that which adds to the whole beer experience. Thanks guys!

Isaac Newton’s

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Isaac Newton’s
18 S State St. Newtown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/IsaacNewtonsBarandRestaurant
Twitter @isaacnewtons

It’s been at least 8 years since this Gal last visited Isaac Newton’s so figured it was time to check them out again. Isaac’s was one of the first places I know of that offered craft beers and an extensive selection of Belgium Ales long before the craft beer explosion took place. Happy report the tap and bottle lists are still impressive and very reasonably priced.

Isaac’s has always has a large food menu, as well, that offers something for everyone – vegetarians and meatatrians a like. Although, I have to say I’ve never been overly impressed with the food. Portions tend to be on the smaller size and range from OK to tasty. On this particular visit I decided to go for the Kale Caesar Salad. I love me some kale! However, it was underwhelming as it came out in a take-out box. Ummm, what?! Over all it was tasty but obviously loss points on presentation and it was a bit pricey for the quantity.

IMG_2162When visiting Isaac’s I’ve always preferred sitting at the bar or in the bar area which offers a cozy rustic feel to it  and a nice sun porch off to the one end. On this particular visit it was decorated beautifully for Christmas. The list of taps, also, celebrated the holiday season with several winter/holiday beer offerings including one of my favorites Delirium Noel.

Big Lushious – Founders Brewing Company 7.8%
Very good dessert beer that would compliment brie cheese nicely. Lots of dark chocolate and hints of tart raspberries. Glad I tried it but just not in the mood for a full pint on this visit.

Delirium Noël
Delirium Noël

Delirium Noel – Brouwerij Huyghe 10%
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to me! Full of the holiday spices one associates with the season without being overwhelming. Candied fruit with Belgium yeast and roasted malts add up to a mellow/smooth full body beer.

Velvet Merlin – Firestone Walker Brewing Company 5.5%
Oh so good – smooth with full body flavor and medium body texture. Chock full of chicory, cocoa and hints of hops.

Velvet Merlin
Velvet Merlin

Taste of Chouffe N’ice – Brasserie d’Achouffe 10%
Wish I could have had a full glass but needed to drive so kept it smart. Love this beer – liquid gingerbread cookie without being overly sweet.

With so many beers to choose from it nice that the bartenders are so accommodating with taste samples if you’re unsure about committing to a pint of something. I’ve always have found the bartenders at Isaac’s to provide excellent service and are very knowledgable about the beer they serve.

I’m very happy to have finally returned to Isaac’s Newtons and don’t plan on letting so much time lapse between visits again.

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Vault Brewing

001Vault Brewing, Yardley, PA

A couple of weeks ago this Gal had the pleasure of meeting a dear friend at Vault Brewing for an evening of drinking, eating and catching up. Don’t you just love friends that you can pick up right where you left off even if it’s been months?

This was my fourth visit to Vault Brewing and I find it just keeps getting better with each visit. When the Vault first opened the beer was young, the food was fine but nothing to write home about and the seating, well, not the most comfortable. I’m happy to say all that has changed. Gone are the uncomfortable tractor seat things and in their place comfortable chairs, the bar now has stools were there was no seating before, the food is delish and the beer has matured and is down right tasty!


012Vault Brewing is located in an old bank in Yardley, PA that Geeky Beer Gal’s parents used to bank at so I remember being in the building as a kid/teen. It’s nice to see it recycled in to such a cool place. The atmosphere is warm and cozy and the wood-fired kitchen is in view as soon as you enter the establishment as is the brewery. There are rooms off to each side of the bar area and a wonderful patio for outside drinking/dining. There’s parking out back but it’s limited and parking in other lots could result in towing. You’ve been warned – read the signs.

There was a nice crowd for a Friday night without being overwhelming. I’ve heard most Fridays here are packed but we lucked out. No wait for a table unless one preferred patio seating. My friend and I opted to sit at a table in the bar area. One of the things I love about the Vault is it’s designed for socializing. Meaning that there are no TVs (woohoo) and the music is cool. On this night there was a fantastic trio, Mike Billingsley, playing near the entrance. Great trumpet, this Gal loves a trio that includes trumpet.

After looking over the beer list I decided to stick with the usual format of enjoying a taster round. Once the beer was ordered it was time to peruse the food offerings. The menu isn’t huge but has something for everyone with interesting offerings.

Wild Mushroom Flatbread
Wild Mushroom Flatbread

We started with the Buffalo Cauliflower, think Buffalo wings done with Cauliflower, so yummy! My friend had the Crab Cake Sliders and I was told there were very good. I decided to go for my sister-in-laws favorite dish at Vault Brewing the Wild Mushroom Flatbread – incredibly wonderful and just as good the next day reheated.

Now for the beer! There’s usually 5 or so beers on tap and the offerings rotate so there is a beer no matter your taste and always something new to try.

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L to R: Sorachi, Bitter, IPA, Coffee Stout

The taster round consisted of:

Sorachi Ace Blonde 4.9%
This beer has nice bit of heat from the spices but was well balanced by the citrus and coconut. Don’t panic about the coconut, this is not a sweet beer but rather light and refreshing. Really a pleasure to drink.

St. Celeia Bitter 4.4%
Something about the carbonation of this beer reminded me of pop rocks with cola. Basically, it was fizzy but enjoyable. Nice combination of fruit, hops and caramel. I’m always up for trying a bitter even though I’m now a huge fan of the style. This is a particularly well done Bitter.

English IPA 8.7% Cask
The cask caught my eye so had to add it to the round. For a non-hop head this was a really enjoyable IPA. This beer is a perfect balance of both malts and hops. With the hops being present but not overwhelming. They don’t over power the malt and fruit tones but rather compliment them.

Kenyan Coffee Stout 5% Nitro
Good morning, and yes I believe one could drink this in place of their morning cup of joe. The coffee is very up front and wonderful. A wonderful stout down to the last drop! Great roasted malt, coffee and chocolate flavors going on. Super delish! My favorite of the round.

My friend and I decided to enjoy one last beverage for the evening.  A Sangria for her and the American Stout for myself. Somehow I missed the American Stout the first time I studied the menu otherwise I would have added it to the taster round. Beings it’s a stout I felt secure that I would enjoy it and ordered a full pint.

This brings me to the one down point of the evening – service. When one has trouble finding room on a table to set a beer down instead of trying to rearrange the dirty glasses and plates just remove them. Finally, my friend and I took it upon ourselves to remove the dirty dishes and place them on the table next to us that hadn’t been cleared yet. I find table service here to be hit or miss, which is a shame, because everything else at Vault Brewing really is a hit!

Now that we made room for our drinks we were able to sit back and enjoy them.

American Stout
American Stout

American Stout 5.8%
This is a well done stout but I wish I had tried this stout before the Kenyan Coffee Stout. The American Stout has a slight roasted coffee and chocolate offerings but was overpowered by the flavors I experienced with the Coffee Stout. I would like to try it again on its own without my taste buds first experiencing the Coffee Stout.

It was a wonderful evening at Vault Brewing catching up with a great person while enjoying wonderful beer. Vault Brewing is a fantastic addition to my childhood town of Yardley!